Why Techonomy?

by David Kirkpatrick

Everything we do reflects our ethos: that technology can make the world a happier, healthier, wealthier, and more peaceful place.

Techonomy’s name embodies our beliefs and our mission—it combines the words “technology” and “economy” because technology has become a central part of the economy in which we operate and the society in which we live. Today technology is inextricably entwined with just about every activity that humans undertake. We embrace that fact, and seek as a company to help the world take advantage of it.

Technology is itself a neutral force. If we actively engage with it, we can direct it, mold it, and apply it productively for our organizations and for society.

As the pace of change speeds up, many of us find it challenging to grasp our range of options. All leaders must, in effect, become technologists. Only then can we effectively guide organizations, companies, and communities towards long-term health and impact. Only then can we retain our relevance and effectiveness, as leaders and even as individuals. The choices we all face because of technology are by no means easy. Some of technology’s impact is painful and confusing. We do not shrink from examining the downside, though as you can tell, our bias is towards optimism.

Techonomy casts its lens broadly across business and society in order to highlight and explore the manifold ways in which tech’s impact is felt. We care about the future of food and nutrition, healthcare, education, government, science, the arts, transportation, cities, infrastructure, communication, media, architecture, and indeed any sphere of human endeavor. We believe there is no field in which tech is not having a transformative impact. We are no less interested in the cement business than in social media. (OK, maybe a little.) Lines are being blurred, in large part by developments driven by technology, so that many once-distinct disciplines are overlapping, consolidating, and cross-fertilizing.

We seek conversation at the highest level about the role of technology in social progress, as we advocate for greater understanding about the pace of change and what it means for everyone.

We believe business will take the lead in driving social progress, but our community also includes leaders from the social sector, government, politics, academia, and the sciences. A multidisciplinary dialogue is core to every forum Techonomy convenes. We especially aim to foster conversation between leaders from the tech industry and companies that have not, at least until now, considered themselves tech companies. (We argue that every company is a tech company, whether they know it or not.)

Techonomy aims its programs and content at leaders, but we also believe that the definition of a leader is changing quickly. Thanks again in large part to technology, power is being broadly dispersed in society. Leaders are emerging at every level of society more rapidly and fluidly than ever before. Social and business structures are flattening as the very notion of leadership is evolving to recognize that the most effective leadership is collaborative and in some ways collective. We make our programs accessible to a wide audience because it is impossible to know where leaders will emerge, and because the world increasingly recognizes that, for better or worse, we are all in this together.

Techonomy Media hosts conferences, like our recent Techonomy 2013 in Tucson. We also publish editorial content like you see on our website and in our newsletter, including a growing amount of video journalism.